Carnegie Mellon University

Bob Iannucci

Bob Iannucci

Distinguished Service Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, CyLab Mobility Research Center

Address NASA Ames Research Center
Building 23
Moffett Field, CA 94035


Bob Iannucci is the Director of the CyLab Mobility Research Center and is known for leading both software and systems research in scalable and mobile computing. Previously, he served as Chief Technology Officer of Nokia and Head of Nokia Research Center (NRC). Bob spearheaded the effort to transform NRC into an Open Innovation center, creating “lablets” at MIT, Stanford, Tshinghua University, the University of Cambridge, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Under his leadership, NRC’s previously established labs and the new lablets delivered fundamental contributions to the worldwide Long Term Evolution for 3G (LTE) standard; created and promulgated what is now the MIPI UniPro interface for high-speed, in-phone interconnectivity; created and commercialized Bluetooth Low Energy – extending wireless connectivity to coin-cell-powered sensors and other devices; and delivered new technology initiatives including TrafficWorks (using mobile phones to crowd source traffic patterns), part of the Mobile Millennium Project, Point and Find (Augmented Reality using the mobile phone’s camera for image recognition and “zero click” search — identified by MIT Technology Review as one of the TR10 Breakthrough Technologies), and the Morph Concept (opening new directions for using nanotechnology to significantly improve mobile phone functionality and usability).

Bob has led engineering teams at startup companies focused on virtualized networking and computational fluid dynamics, creating systems that offered order-of-magnitude improvements over alternatives. He also served as Director of Digital Equipment Corporation’s Cambridge Research Laboratory (CRL) and became VP of Research for Compaq. CRL created some of the earliest multimedia indexing technologies, and these became part of Alta Vista. In addition, the CRL team together with Dan Siewiorek, Asim Smailagic and others at CMU created MoCCA — a mobile communication and computing architecture — that prefigured and anticipated (by more than a decade) much of what has become today’s smartphone technology. MoCCA won the IDEA Gold award for its innovative approach to facilitating real-time interaction within teams. The industrial design prototype is now part of the permanent design collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Bob was a founder of Exa Corporation, and led the engineering team that created and delivered Digital Physics (a term he coined and that Exa holds as a registered trademark) fluid flow simulation CAD tools. Exa went public in 2012. Bob spent the earliest days of his career at IBM studying and developing scalable computing systems and was one of the designers of the highly successful IBM 4341 and 4381 processors.

Bob remains active as a hands-on systems builder. His most recent iPhone app for radio direction finding is in use in over 70 countries, and he is actively engaged in building WiFi-based “internet of things” devices and the cloud services behind them. He serves as an advisor to companies developing new technologies for wireless networking.

Bob earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 1988, and his dissertation was on the hybridization of dataflow and traditional von Neumann architectures, offering advantages over both. He has served on a number of scientific and engineering advisory boards and was on the program committees for the 3rd and 4th International Symposia on Wearable Computing. Bob also served as a member of the selection committee for the Millennium Technology Prize in 2008.


Ph.D., 1988
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



  • Mobile and embedded computing
  • Scalable systems
  • Sensor networks
  • Emergency communications systems
  • Circuit design
  • Cloud computing
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer hardware
  • Cyberphysical systems (CPS)
  • Information networking
  • Mobility
  • Sensors
  • Wireless networks

Related news

Monday, December 17, 2018

Teaching drones how to learn on the fly

If you’ve ever been to the zoo with a four-year-old, you know how they curiously look around to understand what all of the new animals are: observing how a tiger looks like a cat or moving around to discover where a bear might be blending into its surroundings. Electrical and computer engineering (ECE) and CMU Silicon Valley Professor Bob Iannucci and ECE Ph.D. candidate Ervin Teng are asking how drones can mimic this behavior by becoming curious themselves. To do so, they are using machine learning and a simulation training tool to teach drones how to learn in real-time in what they call “autonomous curiosity.”
Friday, April 13, 2018

Faculty and students win at IPSN 2018

Carnegie Mellon University had a strong showing at this year’s International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN) in Porto, Portugal, by winning Best Paper, Best Demo, and taking first and second place in the Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition.
Monday, January 29, 2018

Powering the smart cities of the future

CMU-SV’s Bob Iannucci and his students have developed the PowerDué: a prototyping platform that allows programmers, students, and makers alike to build their intuition about how much energy their code is using, and how to build better efficiency into their code from the get-go.
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Radio City

Iannucci is the director of the CyLab Mobility Research Center at Carnegie Mellon University, and resident at CMU’s Silicon Valley campus. His cell phone exemplifies how prevalent radio technology is in our daily lives. If it weren’t for radios, we wouldn’t type on Bluetooth keyboards, wouldn’t engage in wireless video chats, wouldn’t be guided safely to our destinations by GPS mapping. These technologies illustrate what radios do for us now. But what will they do for us in the future?
Monday, June 13, 2016

FCC cites CMU-SV research in updates to Wireless Emergency Alerts regulations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that suggests updates to the current regulations concerning Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages. These proposed revisions will improve the clarity and distribution of WEA messages by increasing their efficiency, reliability, accessibility, and timeliness to individuals impacted by disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods.